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Religious Discrimination Experience

The following case depicts a personal experience with religious discrimination, stemming from the projections and stereotypes that people hold toward the personal beliefs of others. It is apparent that individuals succumb to negative tendencies when it comes to other people's churches. One area of interest is the extent to which we make other people's religions and churches objects of derision out of a need to protect our own. In the following account, I was not the giver or the receiver of such discrimination, but I witnessed it first-hand.

A general overview of the social and psychological literature will prove helpful in my interpretation of a social inequity. Taggart (1994) believes that the evaluation of religious systems and the discernment of cults are subject to projections and stereotyping on the part of the general public, including many mental health professionals as well as many of their clients (p. 123). Such stereotyping and projection of negative attitudes leads to the prejudice which creates an "us" versus "them" mentality. It is interesting to note that religious devoutness has even been linked to insincerity in the psychological literature. Richards (1994) warns mental health and social service professionals against stereotyping religiously devout clients as less congruent or genuine (p. 24). During the past decade, several researchers have hypothesized that religiously devout persons are more likely than less religious persons to be overly concerned about maintaining socially desirable appearances, or to engage in impression management tactics (e.g. Batson & Ventis, 1982; Leak & Fish, 1989). In other words, even researchers have pronounced a scientific expectation that religiously devout persons may be (1) less genuine, (2) emotionally disturbed, or (3) maladjusted. Richards (1994) observes, "An overly strong need to engage in impression management is viewed by many mental health professional...

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Religious Discrimination Experience. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:43, December 02, 2020, from